Just as it was when Jesus reached the shore of the Gentiles, it is the same when he returns to the shore of Jewish territory; someone in need of a miracle immediately falls at his feet. In the land of the Gerasenes it was a crazed demoniac, now it is Jairus, the leader of the local synagogue. One fell at Jesus’ feet and asked, “What have you to do with me Jesus?” The other begged Jesus to come. Such are the contrasting views concerning faith and Jesus’ power to heal whom he will.
The world is filled with powers that defy God, those that would claim faith in Jesus is really a sign of weakness. After all, it is human nature to attempt to take control of life and force an outcome. Non-believers and naysayers look toward any means other than Christ in order to have what they will. In such a world, good fortune and affliction are defined as karma or some other circumstantial power dictating fate. “What comes around goes around.” Within such a life there is no room for a loving compassionate God, only the false assurance that “It’s my life and I’m in control.” Yet, as we see with the Gerasene demoniac, Jesus has power to overcome and defeat powers no human can control. Jesus restores the man to wholeness and brings him to faith.
With Jairus we have a much different picture. Here is a man of status, one who has certain authority. He recognizes his limited human ability and is willing to yield to the power and authority of God. On the way, however, there is an interruption. Another person in need of a miracle reaches out to Jesus. She reaches out and she is healed. How often do we encounter such interruptions? How many times might we feel Jesus is otherwise preoccupied, neglecting our urgent need? News came to Jairus that his daughter had indeed died. Jairus’ faith gave way to despair, but with Jesus, hope is never lost. Jesus reassures him, “Do not fear, only believe.”
At Jairus’ home the powers that defy God once again gathered; the people laughed at Jesus when he claimed the girl was not dead. As it was with the Gerasenes, they didn’t recognize the power of Christ. A few moments later, they were amazed. With a simple touch of his hand, Jesus called the girl from death to life. The strength of her father’s faith was restored and Jesus is identified as the one who has power, even over death and the grave.
As we continue along our earthly journey, fear and faith seem to walk alongside. There are so many instances when fear takes hold, illness, loneliness, grief and loss. In all of these we reach out in faith to Christ for help, yet sometimes we experience what we perceive to be interruptions along the path to healing and wholeness. Jesus says. “Do not fear, only believe.” Even as we do not always understand the issues we face, we cannot forget that God is active in the lives of his people. Worldly powers may attempt to control our lives, but they are no match for the power of God’s love. In the end, it is Christ who calls us from death to life. By no other power are people able to be saved.